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Ellie Krieger's New Way Pantry

The host of the Food Network show Healthy Appetite shares tips from her new book, The Food You Crave, and talks about the secret of her food philosophy

Matt Berger and Gary Junken
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“Eating and cooking well starts with having the right foods at your fingertips,” writes Ellie Krieger, host of the Food Network show Healthy Appetite, in her book The Food You Crave. In this video, Krieger talks about how to make that concept a reality by keeping a well-stocked pantry of healthy and flavorful ingredients. 

Ellie’s list of staple foods and ingredients—dubbed “The New Way Pantry”—includes oils and vinegars; condiments and other flavor boosters; sweeteners; nuts, seeds and dried fruits; canned fruits and vegetables; bread, flour and grains; along with a few freezer items. Having these ingredients on hand, she says, will allow you to whip up a great meal anytime.

“Eating and cooking well starts with having the right foods at your fingertips,” writes Ellie Krieger, host of the Food Network show Healthy Appetite, in her book The Food You Crave. In this video, Ellie talks about how to make that concept a reality by keeping a well-stocked pantry of healthy and flavorful ingredients. 

Ellie’s list of staple foods and ingredients—dubbed “The New Way Pantry,” and published in full in her book—includes oils and vinegars; condiments and other flavor boosters, such as Dijon mustard and sun-dried tomatoes; sweeteners; nuts, seeds and dried fruits; canned fruits and vegetables; bread, flour and grains; along with a few freezer items. Having these ingredients on hand, she says, will allow you to whip up a great meal anytime.

FineCooking.com had the opportunity to sit down with Ellie before her video shoot to talk a bit about her book. Here are some highlights from that interview:

FineCooking.com: Briefly, what is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

Ellie Krieger: Many people think that you can have either food you love and that’s absolutely delicious, or food that’s healthy, and I say you can have booth. You can have delicious, scrumptious food, that’s also good for you.

FC: Can you elaborate on that?

EK: The whole idea is that you never have to say never to any food. I see foods as usually, sometimes, and rarely. So no food is ever off limits, it’s just a matter of keeping them all in balance.

The usually foods are the backbone of my cooking—whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, low-fat dairy, lean meats, healthy oils, nuts, beans, all that great stuff.

But I sprinkle in sometimes foods, which may be a little bit more refined or maybe a little higher in saturated fat, like chicken thighs. Or some refined flour—white flour—it’s fine to mix with whole grain flour for a more tender muffin, for example.

The rarely foods are often foods that people consider off limits when they’re eating healthy, and that I think many chefs use with a heavy hand. Using them in small amounts for maximum impact is my strategy. I have in my book butter cream, bacon, all of these foods, they’re not off limits. The key is using them smartly for maximum impact.

FC: Where does the inspiration for your book and food philosophy come from?

EK: My mother says I became a nutritionist like a pyromaniac becomes a fireman. I basically was born loving food. So my inspiration comes from loving food and wanting the knowledge to love it in a healthier way.

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